Tracy Holland – Executive Chairman & Co-Founder at HATCHBEAUTY Brand Incubator

Episode 128

Tracy Holland knows just what it takes to build a product. On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow, Tracy shares how the challenges she faced only motivated her to co-found her company HATCHBEAUTY. You don’t want to miss this!

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Kara Goldin  00:00

Hi everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin Show. And I am so excited to have my next guest here we have Tracy Holland here who is executive chairman and co-founder at hatch beauty, which is a brand incubator, and we will get into that in a few minutes. But Tracy is also a member of YPO. And we have met each other through the great YPO women’s group that’s out there with YPO. And anyway, I’m very excited to be interviewing her today and having her share a little bit about her story. But just a quick bio on Tracy. So as I mentioned, She’s the founder and executive chairman, and she’s an entrepreneur with a very big global track record of incubating and launching brands. And she’s dedicated her career to creating new brands and success stories, especially for women entrepreneurs, after holding many executive positions at a lot of big-name companies. She co-founded hatch beauty to really incubate these brands in 2009. And she has since led highly successful development strategies and launches for many popular brands, which I know she’ll get into. She was also awarded the 2019 fashion and beauty award for a beauty service provider of the year. And she was an eBay Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. And the LA area is it Yeah. So I was the same year in San Francisco. I can’t believe that. Yeah, and pretty, pretty wild. And she’s also elected to the committee of 200, and the organization of the most successful women business leaders globally. And now Tracy is taking on the podcast world. And with her soon-to-be podcast from the potential powerhouse, very excited to launch this year. So welcome, Tracy,

Tracy Holland  02:03

thank you so much for having me.

Kara Goldin  02:06

Yeah, totally. I’m very excited that you are here. So first of all, talk to us about what is a brand incubator?

Tracy Holland  02:14

I know, right? So funny, because now it’s in the food space, it’s much more prevalent to be incubation, focused. And Trader Joe’s is a great example of a really interesting incubator, right totally of products and foods. And we’ve appreciated that for 20 years, as consumers. But you know, what I saw on beauty a decade ago was the fact that there were lots of consumer brands that were prevalent, but there was really not a place for retailers to go and sit at the table in the beginning iterative stages of developing a brand for their core customer. And these retailers have loyalty cards. And so they know their customer, and they understand their customer, but they didn’t have any place to go to kind of sit and say at the lab stage where they’re in development to say, here’s our customer opportunity, help us really iterate for this very niche space. And at that time, but this is really pre Facebook and pre Instagram. So we happen to think about how do we take what we know in LA, we live in LA, and the celebrity world of influencers. And at that time, Elle Magazine, and Cosmo and Vogue. And all of these runways, the fashion runways in New York and Paris, how do we take that ethos and bring that into a retail setting and create a brand with a retailer that feels like an authentic third party brand. That may be quasi exclusive to that retailer where they put this in the best place and location in their store. And they promote it as if it’s a third-party brand. When really behind the scenes, it’s kind of definitely not a private label. It’s definitely not a control brand. It’s an independent brand. We own it, but the retailer really gets to collaborate in the development.

Kara Goldin  04:11

Interesting. So what’s the difference between launching a brand and maybe incubating a brand like what you’re talking about?

Tracy Holland  04:20

I would say the only real difference is that initially a decade ago, the retailer would underwrite the p&l by giving us a forecast in a commitment on a PPO for a certain number of units for a certain space and location in the store with certain signage and a certain kind of understanding handshake that we wouldn’t take that brand to their direct competitor. Interesting. So it’s typically come coming from the retailer. It’s the need for the opportunity for the category is definitely was retailer driven. But I would say that the collaborative nature of CO creating a brand with retailer at that time, especially, you know, 10 years ago when, you know, you have the large Unilever’s, and you have the PNGs. And you have the L’Oreal’s and you have the ladders. At that time, you know, when we first started this work, there was really no one to sit and collaboratively co-create a brand. That would also think through all of the fast market aspects of what it takes to launch a brand. So because we had our own laboratory, we had our own manufacturing facility, we were really boots on the ground, and we could fly the airplane and fix it at the same time. Interesting. And so we could get out to market in nine months, on a concept that we had thought of nine months earlier, do surveying, do customer feedback, do creative do packaging, do design, formulating compatibility, stability, and then run a marketing plan that would then launch it at the retailer level, on an exclusive basis, on an end cap with all the bells and whistles that a third party brand would have. But in the beginning, we didn’t have any money. Right? So we had no investor, and you know how much money it takes to launch a brand. Right?

Kara Goldin  06:14

So you were typically so just so I understand. So you’re raising money for hatch beauty, this is an idea. So so you’re from a retailer, it’s often the idea is often coming from them, they’re guaranteeing some kind of space in the stores. But you’re going out and raising your own funding,

Tracy Holland  06:32

I didn’t need to, because what I would do is make the purchase order as well as the purchase commitment for the first year of the forecast. And I would turn around to my vendors and say I need 120-day terms. And I would turn around to my bank and say I’m going to be forecasting a $10 million plan. And here’s my plan, how many skews and how much I’m gonna need in terms of a revolver. And here’s my purchase order. So I need you to factor this or finance it for me. And so I didn’t raise I think we got to 75 million in revenue before we started even thinking about

Kara Goldin  07:06

Wow, that’s amazing. And in some cases, you would also take these brands and out to other retailers. Right, exactly. Yeah. Amazing. It’s very, very cool. So can you share some of the brands that you’ve done? Sure,

Tracy Holland  07:19

yeah. You know, it’s been such a privilege because you know, What’s so strange and I know you understand this because I just read your book, and it was blowing my mind. Because actually, some of the pain points that you’ve been through feels so familiar. And whether you’re in beverage, or in beauty, or in, I’m guessing in, in gardening or in any kind of category, right? What you don’t realize is you don’t know what you don’t know until you get so far in modally that you think I really need to, I’m excited because if I can just get this big key account, then I’m going to be able to finance my growth to the next stage and I’m going to get where I need to be. So we’re really lucky in 2010 Trader Joe’s was one of our first key accounts and so if you use their lemon hand soap or their botanical hand soaps or whatever it may be we were one of the first iterative creative and kind of incubation partners in the in that habit category to Trader Joe’s

Kara Goldin  08:20

no, that product. It’s good it’s a good product. Yeah,

Tracy Holland  08:23

yeah, I mean, and Trader Joe’s had such an innovative perspective on all the categories that they do because they’re such innovation experts but what their focus was a decade ago was obviously food. So we came in and said, Hey, we can do this for you in the beauty space. And I think we’ve established a deep and great partnership there in which we’ve, you know, helped grow that business, and that’s been a huge partner of ours. So back in 2010, that was our first partner our second partner was CVS. And that relationship started with Salma Hayek’s brand of nuance, and we co-created that brand with them and with Salma and there were so many learning lessons from that business relationship. And you know, in hindsight, I wish I could have gone back to my 10-year-old 10 years ago and talked to my younger self and said here are the things you should know Be careful to this don’t do that. But some of the brands that we have now, nature well is probably our biggest brand nature well is started off as a topical brand and then has moved into ingestible so about two years ago we started wellness and ingestible Division so we also do teas and tinctures and supplements and powders everything that kind of helps women and men optimize their regimen from the inside out. That’s all so nature well is probably one of the most well known we have Orlando pita haircare we have found which is a naturally derived skin and body and color brand but then we just started found active for a long time. with Kate Upton, in the next week, you’ll see it launching on direct to consumer. And then we’ll be launching at retail. And we have other smaller brands, but I would say that’s the bulk of our income.

Kara Goldin  10:11

That’s very, very cool. Now, when you are working with a celebrity, are they coming to you? Or are you typically going to them and saying, hey, we’ve got this idea and we want somebody to partner with us on this.

Tracy Holland  10:25

You know, in the beginning, I would say we would have to knock on a lot of doors. And in the very beginning, I think Salma Hayek was truly one of the first nuanced Salma Hayek in 2011, we won mass brand of the Year for WWE, Tom Ford, I think, one for the prestige that year, that really put us on the map for co-creating a celebrity-driven brand, because really, no one had ever done that at that time. And we looked at that opportunity with Selma and said, How do we build this business relationship with her and with CBS, and I think that learning, as I mentioned, was a massive one in so many ways, that was a good learning ground for us. But I would say today, you know, we meet with celebrities, frequently, I think that’s only one part of the component of what makes a brand successful. It really has to authentically resonate and come from the person who’s involved as our partner and founder, they can’t just be something hatch beauty invents, and then kind of slaps a person’s name on it needs to really be incubated truly with that celebrities, core and authentic passion. And they have to be in the kitchen with us.

Kara Goldin  11:38

Yeah, no, I totally. I totally see that and, and agree. So prior to living in this world, what was your background?

Tracy Holland  11:49

It’s so funny, you know, when I grew up, as I think an entrepreneur, my whole childhood, like, I remember my first coming into my dad and saying, I have this idea to create a store and the store is going to carry all these various products. And I kind of imagined a store where you could buy food and all these other things. And that’s when I was probably nine or 10. And I did the retail schematic, and I had kind of done a store strategy. And you know, I started a pie business when I was 13. And I, you know, would start making pies, I’d send my sisters out the door to door to collect orders and bring samples to neighbors and then collect orders. And that lasted about three months, my dad shut that business down. Because I took over the kitchen and we’d have to eat out eat meals out every night. And finally, he’s like, I’m paying your cost of goods. Let me explain what the Cost of Goods means.

Kara Goldin  12:42

What’s your dad in kind of that business? Or no, no, he

Tracy Holland  12:46

was a nuclear physicist and who’s in defense. And, you know, my parents both had PhDs and they were really hard-working, but very corporate folks. I mean, my dad was definitely the one who would say, you know, the idea is you get a great job, you get a 401k, you go up through the management track, you’re gonna get promoted. And I think by the time I got to be about 15, I had, I was just not, I didn’t fit in, you know, to the family. And so my parents actually sent me to reform school for two years, and I did a lot of hard labor, we did, you know, trust falls and wilderness survival trips and they kind of tried to the school itself really have a focus of like, how to get the kids to conform to rules and to be part of the kind of the norm, you know, and so when I graduated from high school, you know, my father was coaching me on what corporate job I was gonna get. And so I said, I’m not even sure I want to go to college. And so I took a year off. I mean, my parents were just Can you imagine two Ph.D. people? We’re not doing that back then. I

Kara Goldin  13:59

mean, people are today, right? But people were like, Wait, what? No,

Tracy Holland  14:03

I gotta save her. No. And so dad said, Okay, so you’re not getting a penny from me. And if you decide you want to go to college, you call me and I’ll help you financially, but so I waited tables for a year. And I’ll never forget when I went to work one day, I worked at a place called the Dells. And there was a uniform, you know, a black skirt, a white shirt, and a burgundy apron. And I actually liked waiting tables because it meant, you know, connecting with people. You were in a hurry, you were delivering food. You had a lot going on, and I just always had the busiest section. And I made great tips. But my boss came to me and he said, Your skirts too long. And if you don’t hike your skirt up, you know, high level or above. You don’t have a job tomorrow. Well, Chris, and I thought Where

Kara Goldin  14:58

where are you living? Healdsburg. And he’ll tell us,

Tracy Holland  15:01

this tiny town such a great place. And I never will, I’ll never forget, I thought, Oh, my God, I’m being told that my livelihood is dependent upon me showing my legs. Mm-hmm. And there was this aha moment. I think the benefit I had was I had two parents who are well educated. So I knew there was another side to this, that there could be an alternative for me that if I chose to go to college, I could go up through a professional career track and I could shift my, my future. But at that time, had I not had the exposure to two Ph.D. parents, and had been, you know, gone to work. And all I like, I try to imagine if my mom had been a waitress, and my father had been a blue-collar. And, you know, I was told to hike my skirt up, or I wouldn’t have a job the next day, I would hike my skirt up. But instead, I told him, screw you. I didn’t come back, you know, to work the next day. And I thought, shit, I better get it myself into college. Or this is, probably not going to be great.

Kara Goldin  16:07

Yeah. Yeah, this is where it goes. Because he was not feel

Tracy Holland  16:12

dad was not fielding calls for money. Right? You know, he wasn’t gonna say any problem, babe, I got you, I’ll write you a check until you find your next gig. Like, there was one option. So I went to the Fashion Institute of Design. For my first two years of undergrad, I did my a there in San Francisco. And I remember, you know, it was the first time I realized I was smart. I started to go to college. And I thought, you know, I didn’t think I was that smart. I my, my impression of myself at that time because I hadn’t been successful in school was that I was, you know, maybe it kind of not didn’t have this marching. And so it was my first time I remember in college thinking, Hmm, I think I could probably compete here and be pretty smart. And when I went, to the center that was helping place graduates from the film, the college counselor at the time, I was telling her, I think I want to go get a bachelor’s degree, I think I want to transition. And I’m really, you know, interested in foreign policy, I’m going to apply and she said, You don’t need to do that you just paid a fortune for an A, you should go out and get in a management track at one of the retailers that are recruiting Neiman’s has an incredible management track there. And you know, you could leave here and go get a great paying gig. So why do you don’t need, you know, you’re, you’re like, Yeah, and I thought, I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m doing making the right choice. But I just continued on the academic path, because I kept challenging my beliefs that I wasn’t very smart. And every time I got honors, or Phi Beta Kappa, or, you know, and I thought, My God, I’m competing against people who I really think, are smart. And I think at that time, I had imposter syndrome, without even knowing what imposter syndrome was. Because I kept showing up at school going. I can’t, I mean, I get great grades. And I think, Is this real?

Kara Goldin  18:16

Yeah, that is so did I earn it? Erica? Yeah, that is so great. Yeah. And so how did you then how did you move from that then?

Tracy Holland  18:26

So in it’s really is, you know, I spent a year in Spain. Between undergrad and graduate school. My parents were mortified. I had a calling to go to Spain. I was actually pivoted, I was supposed to go to China. And Hillary Clinton was there during that period of time as this kind of outspoken woman, I remember China, saying that they were going to hold off on issuing visas. And so when I went to get my visa, I had a single entry visa, which didn’t sound like a good idea because I would be there for a year. And I didn’t want to go into China without a way to get out. And sure, yeah, for the entire year. So I pivoted to Spain. I spent a year there. I came back, I worked on the Clinton gore campaign, and it helped Mikaela Alioto and Virginia Strom Martin at the time, who is working to be the first Assemblywoman and I was really passionate about politics. And when I came back, I was in the Bay Area. And I thought, you know, I should probably go to grad school, because it seems like the right thing to do, and I don’t know where the political realm will lead me. But I, during that time, I met a woman who is a forensic chemist, and she and I, she had a vision for changing the way nail polish was invented, really, she is she had a formula and foresight for nail polish, and it actually came up with a conversation she was having, and saying, you know, nail polish doesn’t smell good, and she and I talked about it. And then she said, You know, I think I could reformulate this and she did, she reformulated nail polish to be scented. And at that time, I thought, you know, this is really an interesting opportunity. I wonder if anyone’s ever done this. So I took some money from my graduate school loans that they were offering. And then I went out and hired someone to do some patent research. And there was no patent on Santa’s nail polish at the time. And so I basically launched with her this the first business in the end, help grow and drive the idea around center nail polish, using my student loans from Columbia to help underwrite the first business together, and that business ended up failing, we ended up closing it, we, you know, I ended up having to pay off my loans, the intellectual property ended up getting sold, but all the business assets got, you know, we folded after a couple of years, but it was really the first time that I realized that there was a need for innovation be an appetite from the consumer for something similar but different than what, what was out there. Hint water, right? Water is water, but when you tweak it, and you make it special and unique, all of a sudden, people can’t get enough of it and nail polish. You know, everybody has it. And they know what the aspects of using nail polish are, but it doesn’t smell great. And so being able to make it smell like chocolate, or grass or peanut butter or roses, we sold a ton, like a lot. And it was like, This is so much fun. And what happened to that business then. So our first client was JC Penney, I’ll never forget, this is how I learned how to finance purchase orders because JC Penney gave us a purchase order for almost $400,000. And here I was living in this 10 by 11, studio on 91st and Broadway. And I had my samples piled up, you know, all my center nail polish, which was like, by the way flammable, right? So I had a phone that had two rings, one was like my personal ring, which was a one-ring ring. And then when it rang twice, that meant it was like a buyer or retailer because it had a second ring. So it would go Ring ring, and I’d say, you know, sentimental. So we built that business together. And she had her job by day at the Department of Justice, literally on CSI sites digging up dead bodies, and I was in grad school. And then, you know, I was only I would take my classes Tuesday, Thursdays, I was in 15 units, but I would stack it from like seven in the morning to 10 at night. So I could get my classes so I could go meet retailers, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, get on the airplane, fly out, fly back. And I did that for the first two years in my first purchase order from JC Penney, which was like 400,000. Of course, like we couldn’t find that. So our vendor, we went to the vendor, we show them the purchase order, they bought the glass for us because normally they wouldn’t do that. But they bought the glass, the brushes, and the caps. They screened them, they filled them, they paid for the shippers and then they gave us net 60 terms, and then I turned around to the purchase order. And I use my first ever factor I didn’t know to factor was

Kara Goldin  23:22

right, explain to people what a factor is for those that don’t know what it is.

Tracy Holland  23:26

So it’s just like taking your house and collateralizing it, it’s making a purchase order. And it cannot you collateralize the purchase order for a very high-interest rate, it’s usually one to 2% per month. And they will do a Dun and Bradstreet sensitivity run on the actual purchase order to make sure that the retailer is still liquid because you know, that’s an important consideration. That’s what they’re basically underwriting as collateral. And then they’ll give you usually up to 70% of the purchase order in cash to purchase those things that you need. And then they’ll give you the balance of the 30%. Right when it ships. And so for us the liquidity of those AP that asset, you know, the thing that’s hairy about all this that nobody ever wants to really think about is what if like, you know, manufacturing, like what if something goes wrong, right? From the what if the glass is bad? What do the brushes are wonky? What if the, you know, I had a FedEx truck full of the product once run off the road and the entire container of goods, like got destroyed and I thought oh, no problem that’s Costco freight. I’m sure that’ll be covered by Costco. But it’s not. But it’s not because even though it’s their freight carrier pickup, yeah, they don’t actually receive that asset until they get it into their DC

Kara Goldin  24:54

lots of stuff can happen. For sure. Yeah, crazy crazy. It’s, it’s insane. It’s insane. So what happened in the end with that company then?

Tracy Holland  25:06

So I got left with a bunch of debt. And I thought crap,

Kara Goldin  25:10

so it didn’t do well like it

Tracy Holland  25:12

did really well. But we just didn’t get like when you start to think about the execution of a sent a nail polish at retail, what it really requires and what retail requires is, you know, as a human standing there and saying, Hey, listen to this out nail polish doesn’t just nail polish, it’s scented. Try it, you know. And so with a retailer like JC Penney, that did not work for us because people didn’t understand what the difference was. And but you know, Spencer’s gift that did work for us, because we were doing baby diapers and grass. And you can have this really gaudy sinus nail polish, like baby diapers, and put some testers out and everybody like snatched it out.

Kara Goldin  25:56

It’s all excited about it. Yeah. Well, you know, I think you also point to something really interesting that I think a lot of people don’t think about, which is that you have to if you have a new category within any industry, and I really do believe this applies to any industry, you have to be very careful where you show up. Right? And is that consumer-ready to receive? So I would guess it’s Spencer, for example, you want different, right, you’re willing to take a chance on it. I don’t know if JC Penney, I mean, it’s interesting when we first started, we had a very big opportunity with Walmart. And with a celebrity, actually, that was very interested and had great relationships and with Walmart, and we decided not to go into Walmart, not be in we’re in Walmart today. And it’s great and Sam’s Club, and everything’s great. But I had started and unsweetened flavored water, and it was a brand new category. And I figured this out two months after launching our product. And I remember waking up in the middle of the night. And I said to the celebrity agent, tell me what brands are developed inside of Walmart because I can’t think of any, but I want to know what they are. Because I really just want I wanted to believe, but I couldn’t think about it. And I think that what you talked about, I mean, it’s interesting, you can have a great product. Totally. But I mean, you’ve been through this right? But it has to be in a place that has to and I still believe this to this day. Again, when you get to be a big enough established brand. You know, where people have seen it show up at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or Spencer’s or whatever, then maybe you can go into some of these stores. But there’s but it’s such an important journey for the product. And I I’ve talked to so many people about this entrepreneur launching brands over the years. And it just really depends on your category. And it depends on if it’s a new category anyway, but it sounds like a lot of what you experienced but you learned a lot

Tracy Holland  28:16

right along the way. Yeah, for sure. He’s arrived and got through that and so what was your next point after that? We did. And I say we because I pulled a lot of the people I had leaned on for sent a nail polish. What that gave me was a Rolodex of retailer contacts, as well as a network of vendor contacts. And really my biggest private label client at the center nail polish company was Elizabeth Arden under their sunflower fragrance. It developed ascent in a topcoat that was sent sunflower fragrance developed or bass and getting those contacts learning the ways of the world like getting to meet the CEO at the time of French fragrances who then became the CFO of Elizabeth Arden. You know the one thing I recognize early on as your network is your net worth totally, and your reputation and who you are and who you show up, as in the world is mission-critical to maintain the integrity and continue to even say the bad news first. If if there’s bad news, and that’s been with my retailers, and that’s been with my vendors because it’s the trust that develops and that builds that gave me the momentum and the latitude to continue to build a business and so even though scented nail polish didn’t work I went on to find the first-ever spray-on hosiery it was Arab air silk and it was a hydrolyzed silk high aerosol base spray-on Whoa. And I heard about it and I got on an airplane, I was actually VP of sales of a haircare company at the time. So I had gone to take her traditional jobs so that I could just pay my bills and then pay off my debt.

Kara Goldin  30:15

Those are good loans. You, you’re scrappy, and you knew what you had to do.

Tracy Holland  30:18

So I went in, I took a, you know, day gig. And, and then I heard about this spray on hosiery and I thought, what the hell and I were trying to imagine it and you know, someone had come back from Japan and said, Oh, my God, you know, comes in a can you shake it, it’s hydrolyzed silk. And it comes out in an aerosol and it looks like hosiery on your leg. Jet like you can’t tell the difference. So of course, I take sick time, I get on an airplane and go to Tokyo only ever been to Japan, I’m like, I’m gonna find this stuff, right? So I end up tracking down the owner and the inventor of the spray-on hosiery. And I learned so much about the Japanese culture and just how they do business. But, you know, this man was an inventor in Japan. That’s so very rare, right? an entrepreneurial investor who just kind of comes up with things. And so I went there. And I ended up partnering with a very large billion-dollar company called sense chi, which underwrote the inventory and became the distributor partner, and we went into a JV and then we got the distribution rights for that product in the United States ended up getting it for Canada, Central, and South America, as well as Mexico. And so for a couple of years, imported millions of cans, that was my first million-dollar, you know, income. For me, personally, I was 31, you know, I would start moving container loads of air, silk, and air stocking products. And I realized, like, this is super interesting, I love innovation. But I also love the idea that you know, retailers are hungry for something new and unique. And if and if well communicated, they will be excited to participate. And that’s what I have built my career on is frankly, seeing opportunities or innovation in the market in a particular space. And it’s always been in consumer obviously, but bringing that to retail first and then kind of creating a category that may not exist and at that time it didn’t exist span hatchery. So it ended up getting knocked off by Sally Hanson. And I mean, I don’t like to say knocked off, because the world comes up with ideas all at the same time. And sometimes, you know, Zeitgeist, things come to come into the market. But we had quite the distribution, at that time, almost 32,000 doors. And that was a couple of years of a great, you know, great business and a great run. And then from there, I started my own business. So, I mean, that was my own business. But then I started becoming my own company that would innovate and develop the product after that, rather than find people who did it, you know,

Kara Goldin  33:03

how did you find the courage at that point to just go and do it on your own? Do you remember that day when you just said, You know what, maybe I should just do this and set up my own factory and just kind of, like, do it.

Tracy Holland  33:16

So courage is weird. I don’t know if that’s the right word. Because I think entrepreneurs, typically, I’ve found run on either blind ego, and like, completely out of bounds on what could happen. And they’re just kind of like these visionaries. And, and they don’t care, like necessarily what the implications of they just have to go fulfill the vision, or they run out of fear. Right. And they’re fear-based meaning, like, I came from a household where I needed to create wealth for myself, because I knew once I could, I would have the freedom of choice because my childhood was not, it was tough, right? So for me, wealth always meant freedom. And I think the courage came from a place of saying, it can’t be this bad. So I know I can make a better doing anything I’m going to do because like, you’ve already done it to me so I can



Kara Goldin  34:14

And what’s the worst that can happen? Right? I mean, I asked myself all the time. So I still do to this day, right?

Tracy Holland  34:22

Yeah, it’s totally true. And there was this part in your book that I have to tell you, I just resonated with and if you don’t mind, I’m gonna hold it up. Because it really there’s this one-second section that you said, and I think as if there are entrepreneurs listening to this, I want them to really hear this because I laugh and then at the same time, this is pain inside of me because I believe that what you were saying here so true. You said in chapter 13 Belief in your product and then you say when can you be sure that your company is flying high and out of danger? Never

Kara Goldin  35:00

Yeah, it is true. And you’re and that is what you sign up for.

Tracy Holland  35:05

Look at Kodak, right? Look at I mean, we could go down a list of the need to reinvent. And there’s no place in which you’re scot-free. And I think that was the courage to get up every day and just put one foot in front of the other. The thing that keeps me excited about what we do is the people that I get to work with,

Kara Goldin  35:31

and you love what you’re doing. Yeah, you can tell. Yeah,

Tracy Holland  35:34

yeah. But there’s this sobriety to knowing that I’m maybe three decisions away from the things careening off to the left or to the right, potentially, right. And that at least that’s how I interpreted or feels. And then I look at, you know, even just what’s happened in the world with COVID, in the last, you know, 12 months and what’s happened to our world when I sit back and think about the forecast that I built in 2018, or 2019, going into 2020. I was like, I’m decade in this man, I could here be my forecast, like, yeah, here you go. Bank like, here you go investor. Here you go, everyone. And you know, then you’re nine weeks into the quarter. And you hear about a hotspot and you’re thinking is this happening? Like is there is a problem, and there is a problem? Right, and your entire world? shifts? So I think it’s kind of what we sign up for us humans.

Kara Goldin  36:40

Yeah. It’s something else that I I’ve really grown to think more and more about, and particularly, through me talking about my book, actually, I’ve picked up a lot of, you know, in addition to writing a book, but so much more that I’ve realized about myself. And when I left my last job at AOL, I was saying things like, I was bored. I was, you know, ready to move on right? There were all these things I’d built this great business had gone through a hockey stick. It was I had young kids at home, I thought, you know what, I’m just not into it anymore. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But I’m ready, right. But then when I stumbled upon my own problem that I had around diet soda, and I knew I was supposed to be drinking water, but I wasn’t doing it. Then I swapped it out, you know, made this shift from not drinking diet soda to drinking plain water was bored with water and then realize that that that that was the solution to the problem. Then I just assumed I just had missed it on the shelf. I even thought that I was going to the wrong stores. I like drove all over San Francisco where I lived and looked on the East Coast everything and it wasn’t there. And so but it’s funny because I would tell my friends in tech, because my whole circle was in tech at that time that I’m you know, really curious about this. And they were like, okay, so anyway, so Yahoo wants you to come and Google and everything. And I was like, Wait, come back to this whole thing around diet soda and how I’ve had this realization, and I didn’t know, like, talk about, you know, being three steps away from, you know, hanging off of a cliff. I felt like I was hanging off a cliff. But every morning I woke up with this curiosity. And so I go back now to where I was when I was leaving tech. I wasn’t learning anymore. And I think it’s something that so many people miss as they grow in the corporate ladder, or they get older, right? They’re just not learning and people call it not interested, bored, whatever. But I think that that is what entrepreneurs and brings so many people that you had no idea what you were doing most of the time when you entered, and it was a little scary. And you put yourself into situations right where you were uncomfortable, right, but it clearly wasn’t exciting, right? You’re, I mean, it’s just some days was not so good, right? Some days were successful. But you but I believe just by hearing your story that you can’t say that you weren’t learning.

Tracy Holland  39:24

Oh my god, I still am Yeah, still, I’m raising capital. I brought an investment partner private equity partner into the business in March of 2019. So we were already nine and a half or 10 years old at that point. And even that process of, you know, putting together a sim sitting down and pitching your business explaining who you are and why you believe that the business has this next iterative step and, you know, having someone write a multi-million-dollar check to participate in and be part of that process with you. And then what it means to now have a financial partner, an institutional partner, who, by the way, has LPs that invest in them that they then deploy capital under. And they have a whole series of requirements. So learning that understanding what the cap table implications are, what it means to run a formal board meeting. I’ve been so fortunate that Christy Hafner has been my mentor. She’s Chairman of the Board of hatch beauty and has been for about seven years. So she’s the person who taught me how to write run a formal SOS-appropriate board meeting. I mean, are you I just thought, I can’t believe this is better than Harvard MBA like I get to sit and listen to her.

Kara Goldin  40:45

Are you part of si 200 as well?


I am. Yeah, I

Kara Goldin  40:49

am, too. But I didn’t realize that you were that’s another great women’s organization. And Christy is one of them she’s the co-founder of it. So amazing. Yeah, she’s I haven’t actually met her. But I’ve heard amazing things about her. That is so cool. So I love how you took control of your own destiny, and you’re continuing to learn and running an amazing, amazing company. And you’re just, I mean, you’re such an inspiration. And you’ve just got so many ideas here. That that I think, are solutions and ideas that really will be super helpful for people to hear. So what would you say? Is 2021 for you? Like, how are you thinking about 2021? And, and just for you personally for Tracy?

Tracy Holland  41:40

So, you know, I had three amazing kids. And I’m so fortunate because I have you have to figure out how to squeeze this fertility thing in, by the way. You know, I love the OB meeting that I had at 34 when he said, Oh, you’re gonna have kids? And I said, of course. And he’s like, well, you’re not married? And how are you going to do that? And I said I don’t know. I mean, I have plenty of time. Yeah. And he’s like, No, no, no, let me tell you the math on how ovaries work and how ovulation is, and assuming you were at 100% fertility, you might be able to be okay, but you still don’t have a partner. And

Kara Goldin  42:19

I thought Holy smokes, like how is that gonna? Work?

Tracy Holland  42:23

Yeah, so I’ve been so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a mom because I think if you have had a tough childhood, the idea of creating a family for me and having the nurturing mom aspects of myself become my human part of my day today, and it’s something that I feel is part of my legacy. And, you know, the idea of saying, I’m not going to perpetuate this cycle, I’m going to do this differently. And just because I had this experience doesn’t mean that the next iteration of the family has to and, you know, that was courage, right? I think having children in feeling like, what if I screw this up? I consider really the courageous part. But how old are they now? They’re 911 and 14.


Oh, my God, that’s so amazing.

Kara Goldin  43:14

So you’re raising them on your own?

Tracy Holland  43:17

Yes, I am. I mean, they have their dad is really involved in he has them part-time, I have them part-time. And that relationship is really good. And that’s beautiful. Because I think it does take a village to raise children. And whatever that village looks like, you know, two men, two women, family, extended family, however that needs to look it’s like the posse that makes it work. Yeah. But that has been the biggest focus for me for 21. And I would say also, for the last two and a half years, I’ve been on a deep, I would say wellness journey, mind, body, heart, and head coherence. thinking about ways to expand my human nature, my humaneness in this body that I’ve been given for as long as I get to use it, I love it and figuring out how to make an impact and help encourage women especially those who may think Oh, I can’t do this, or it’s not for me, or I’m not smart enough or I came from a broken home or I don’t have the resources or you know, that actually, you there is 100% an opportunity to make a shift and do exactly what it is you want to do. And it’s actually not overnight takes way longer than you think it’s going to Yeah,

Kara Goldin  44:38

yeah, always. Right. It’s just I’ve had many people on that have said the exact same thing. So it’s it is 1,000% true.

Tracy Holland  44:47

So where do people find you? They can find me at Tracy Holland mindset or the potential to the number two powerhouse and that is the best way to reach me and You know, I think as I’ve gone and I got to go through a YPO spiritual experience in Oman last year I did at 11 days and I was there first, you know, kind of spiritual, spiritually focused retreat with YPO hours and that was an amazing life-changing and then on every level

Kara Goldin  45:21

I hope those will start up again that sounds amazing, like so great. We’re

Tracy Holland  45:25

going to Bali I think you if you can come You should Dave out. The last time it was it was so much fun. There were so many amazing people there. I love it.

Kara Goldin  45:34

So I want to close it up and stay tuned. But if you loved this episode, which I did very, very much. Thank you so much, Tracy for being on and definitely give five stars and we’ll see you here every Monday and Wednesday, everybody. Thanks so much. Amazing.


Thank you.